Karen Lewis is stepping down as president of the Chicago Teachers Union, the union confirmed Friday.
She has submitted retirement papers to the Chicago Board of Education. Lewis recently underwent brain surgery for ongoing cancer treatment.
“It’s just the health situation,” Lewis told the Chicago Tribune. “I can’t do it at my best.”
“I want my members to know first that I’m not abandoning them, I just will be an emerita,” Lewis said told the newspaper. “I will be around to help do things, I’m not disappearing anywhere and I’m going to be here for whatever people want to do with me.”
A statement from Lewis or the union is expected Friday afternoon.
Source: WGN News
You may or may not have heard but Chicago's Chance The Rapper has a new production company called Social Function Productions. One of the first major events the company will help produce is a concert in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Special Olympics. The concert will reportedly include performances by the legendary Smokey Robinson, Jason Mraz, O.A.R., and more.
Chano announced the news on social media on Thursday (June 14). “I’m happy to announce that my new production company SFP and I are producing the 50th anniversary of the Special Olympics here in Chicago,” he wrote, along with an official concert poster.
The Special Olympics will officially be held in Seattle on July 1, but the concert will kick off in Chance’s hometown of Chicago on July 21. You can purchase tickets to the concert here.
Just about two and a half years ago, a 55 year old grandmother opened the door to let the Chicago Police into her residence. Little did she know that it would be the last time she would ever have the chance to welcome someone into her home.
Jones died the day after Christmas 2015, when a police officer opened fire on a neighbor of hers during a domestic disturbance call on the West Side. The neighbor, Quintonio LeGrier, 19, allegedly charged the officer with a baseball bat. She was just an innocent bystander cooperating with CPD, and for that her life was taken.
Yesterday (June 11), Betty Jones' family got a small piece of justice for their loved one being taken from them. It is being reported that the city of Chicago has tentatively agreed to pay $16 million to the family. Any settlement must be approved by the City Council’s Finance Committee and the full council.
The settlement with Jones’ family, if approved, staves off a wrongful-death trial that was set to get underway. It is the latest high-figure payout the city of Chicago is forking over in the wake of deadly police actions that have been questioned.
A lawsuit filed by LeGrier’s family is set to begin trial. That police-involved shooting is controversial, but LeGrier, unlike Jones, was allegedly acting in a threatening manner when the officer opened fire.
Robert Rialmo, the police officer who killed Jones and LeGrier, is on desk duty and faces potential firing.
This past Sunday was definitely not just any old regular Sunday by far! The one year anniversary of LSD Studios/Viibez birthday celebration was pretty LiTTY as soon as you step foot inside of Bracket Room. The energy in the building was AMAZING!
The fact that Chicago came out to really support one of their own shows the culture and the support is STILL present. In the building you had Phor, Asa2times, KD Young Cocky, D Brooks, S7eaze, the rest All Co$t, and many more… She pretty much brought the whole city out.
With the drinks flowing and sounds by DJ Unstable, there was NO WAY anyone could’ve had a bad time. Everyone was able to come out and party in peace and it was a great vibe.
We weren’t able to stay forcing us to miss the performances by Asa, KD, and Solo but i saw the IG stories and it was LiT. The energy was high and the viibez were great, showing that we can turn all the way up and still party in peace in CHICAGO. When’s the next one?
Again, HAPPY BIRTHDAY VIIBEZ!!
By: Jimmie Sykes
Get ready to laugh like never before.
Martin Lawrence is hosting the ‘Lit Af Tour’ that will be at the UIC Pavilion on Friday, June 8th.
Martin, Bruce Bruce, Deray, Michael Blackson and many others (pictured above) will be there. You’ll be entertained all night. Tickets starting at around $37.50. If you need something to do on a Friday night, this is the perfect move.
You can check out our ticket prices here
By: Jimmie Sykes
iLLANOiZE remembers the impact that ZackTv had on the the city of Chicago.
It would be better for me and the iLLANOiZE team to be meeting up with ZackTv, but instead the senseless violence that plagues the city leaves many people sending condolences and celebrating the life and impact of Zack Stoner.
Zack ‘ZackTv’ Stoner lost his life last night in South Loop, according to news reports. ZackTv was a platform for many rising Chicago artists and talents. He was fearless, and committed to contributing change in the city of Chicago. His vision was clear, and his work held no boundaries.
Zack dedicated himself to giving many artists the shine that they deserve, an outlet to one day make it out the trenches. Some artists that were featured on ZackTv too lost their lives to senseless street violence, that’s just the story of many dreams cut short for our young black men and women across the city.
We send our deepest condolences to the family, friends, and supporting team of Zack Stoner. May his legacy, impact, and vision one day spark a light and continue to unite the people.
The warm weather is here and for Chicago that means it's festival season. Here's a week look at some of the top events available this weekend for those who want to get out and enjoy all the Chi has to offer.
Thursday, May 31st
Maifest Chicago - May 31 - June 3, 2018 - Lincoln Square (4700 N. Lincoln Avenue)
Mayfest (Maifest in German) is the traditional German celebration of the arrival of spring. Maifest is still celebrated throughout Germany with the maypole (maibaum) decorated to show off the history and crafts of the local village or town.tent
Mayfest, like Octoberfest, has now become a popular celebration throughout the world. Chicago's German community welcomes all to their Mayfest in Lincoln Square; the heart of Chicago's German Community.
This 19th annual German festival features German foods, live music, maypole dance and other traditional German presentations.
VANS HOUSE PARTY Featuring Vic Mensa - May 31 - HOUSE OF VANS CHICAGO - Free - 18+
This year, the Vans House Parties series evolves where each headlining artist will act as a curator, hand-picking all supporting talent and will be creating a personalized visual art experience for fans. To support and elevate emerging talent, one unsigned band or artist will be chosen by the headliner to open each Vans House Party show.
Vic Mensa has selected local artist, Floyd A. Davis IV to create an immersive, multimedia experience that will combine sculpture and music into a functional speaker wall. Rounding out the bill, San Francisco based hip-hop collective The Pack will take the stage for an epic reunion and unsigned Chicago-based hip-hop artist, KAMI was personally selected by Vic Mensa to open the show.
Vic Mensa Curation with performances by:
Friday, June 1st
Chicago Gospel Music Festival - June 1-2, 2018 - Chicago Cultural Center & Millennium Park - Free Admission
Celebrating the genre's deep Chicago roots with traditional choirs and contemporary urban gospel music in the city where the genre was born, the 33rd Chicago Gospel Music Festival features local and national artists on June 1 and 2 at the Chicago Cultural Center and Millennium Park.
Chicago Ale Fest - June 1 - 2, 2018 - Butler Field in Grant Park - Price Varies
Located at Butler Field in historic Grant Park, Chicago Ale Fest will feature a ton of craft beers (over 200), live music and some of Chicago’s favorite food trucks.
Do Division Street Fest - June 1-3, 2018 - DIVISION BETWEEN DAMEN AND LEAVITT - $10 Suggested Donation
Do Division Street Fest takes place on Division Street between Damen and Leavitt in West Town Chicago and features two live music stages, a wide variety of local vendors and food, plenty of ice cold beer, wine and spirits, a dedicated Family Fun Fest area with family activities and stage (which exclusively benefits local elementary schools), plus Do Fashion with local designer runway shows and DJs.
The live music stages are programmed by two renowned West Town live music venues: The Empty Bottle & Subterranean, and the cutting edge and high quality live music makes Do Division a stand out festival.
Saturday, June 2nd
HYDE PARK BREW FEST - June 2-3, 2018 - 53RD ST. & HARPER CT. - Free to Enter
Hyde Park Brew Fest marks its fifth year with an outstanding weekend of festivities that will combine Chicago’s best brewers and music producers. The Hyde Park Brew Fest runs from June 2 through June 3rd, 12p-9p on Saturday and Sunday and is FREE to attend. Attendees will enjoy excellent food, music, vendors, and of course, can purchase a sampler’s ticket for access to over 50 different beers and ciders to try. The Hyde Park Brew Fest takes place in downtown Hyde Park at 53rd and Harper Avenue (Harper Court).
The Beer Sampling event which runs from 1p - 7p both days, will feature over 50 different brews and ciders. PURCHASE TICKETS here. Among the stellar line up of brews will the best Midwest Craft & Microbreweries and some from right here in the Chicago area.
In addition to having your taste buds tickled with outstanding food from favorite local restaurant filling the air with culinary aromas for blocks, your ears will be treated to sounds curated by Hyde Park’s own Dave Jeff along with an eclectic lineup of DJs including headliner and innovative hip-hop DJ and Producer, DJ Jazzy Jeff known most for his Grammy-winning work with Will Smith as DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince.
By: Jimmie Sykes
Bj the Chicago Kid drops a quick, three track EP.
BJ the Chicago Kid, known for his soulful hooks and songwriting ability, keeps it short and simple on his latest EP. ‘The Opening Ceremony is a three track hit by BJ, which are three songs that should be on his latest album as well.
Keep BJ the Chicago Kid latest album in the loop and enjoy this EP for the time being, via Apple Music.
As I stated in my previous blog post, there is always something going on in Chicago. It could be up to five events, I might be interested in, going on at once. This past weekend there was no shortage of events as I ended up covering two myself on the same night.
If you read my last post then you know I was at the Mack 11 listening party, immediately following I slid on Peter Jaysin and nem for his 4/20 Papers vs Backwoods shindig, powered by No Hesitation, Swank Pr, and The Right Now Tour.
It was definitely a “dope” event (inserts laughing emoji), a room filled with trees, smoke clouds, and Chicago’s movers and shakers. It was one of those cool kid parties, invitation only, you had to know the real n-- -- - to get in. It was a kickback style showcase with only three acts on the bill, kept them event chill but LiT at the right moments.
The acts were Flex (@100flex), Asa 2 Times (@asa2times), and Duffle Bag Buru (@dufflebagburu). I came in just in time to catch Flex doing his first song, this being my first time seeing him perform I was really impressed with his level of energy and crowd control. He and his hype men kept the crowd engaged for the whole performance, definitely an artist to watch. Next up on the bill and next up in the industry was Asa 2 Times. Joined by his All Cost brother Solo the Dweeb, Asa fired up like Johnny Storm from Fantastic 4.
Asa always coming with big energy, with the added hype from Solo they definitely kept the LiT fest going. Last but not least Duffle Bag Buru, a Lyrical Lemonade signee. Buru had mad rockstar vibes and kept the energy wavy throughout his performance. Can’t rate him on crowd control because the intermission kinda settled a pretty blazed crowd. Despite the fact I couldn’t gauge his ability to control a crowd, I still rocked with his stage presence, overall lived up to the hype.
4/20 was definitely one for the books, yall planning for next year yet? Asking for a friend.
Wakandacon is a fan convention happening in Chicago, IL to celebrate Afro-futurism, tech, and community outreach. Wakandacon will take place at the Hilton Chicago from August 3rd to 5th.
The three-day event is organized by a team of African-American Chicago residents: siblings David, Ali, and Matt Barthwell; along with entrepreneur Lisa Beasley and producer Taylor Witten. The event will feature panels, lectures, workshops, and live entertainment.
Recent films were the inspiration for Wakandacon, but the team was moved to do more. “The moment we saw Wakanda in film, we wanted a space to gather and talk about everything African-Americans are passionate about. Afro-Futurism is about imagining a future for Black people all around the world. Wakandacon is a space for Black people to look past the present and into our future,” says Ali Barthwell, co-founder of Wakandacon.
“Our people have been hungry for something like this for a very long time, and I hope that Wakandacon only adds to the fire,” says David Barthwell, founder of Wakandacon.
Along with educational and entertaining programming, Wakandacon will also feature a marketplace for African-American small business owners. The event is based in Chicago, but the organizers are hoping for people from across the world to attend.
“My siblings and I were all born and raised in the area, and Chicago is the city that we love. We hope that Wakandacon will not just be an event for people of Chicago but for people all over,” says Matt Barthwell, cofounder of Wakandacon.
A weekend pass is available for $35 on Wakandacon2018.com. Submissions for programming, vendors, sponsors, and volunteers are live on Wakandacon2018.com. More information is available on Wakandacon2018.com.